by Steven Ertelt
October 4, 2004
Muncie, IN (LifeNews.com) — In thousands of peaceful gatherings across the United States, hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates held signs in "Life Chain" events marking their opposition to abortion and support for women.
The silent event is a way of reaching out to communities with the pro-life message, but Deanna Williams of Muncie, Indiana didn’t have to say a word. Her sign, "Abortion Hurts Women," said it all.
Williams knows the pain and grief women who have abortions bear. At 16, she had an abortion and has experienced emotional, spiritual, and physical pain ever since.
"I remember every detail," Williams said. "It was definitely life changing. The guilt from that, the pain from that, it doesn’t ever go away. It’s always there."
Meanwhile, in San Antonio, Texas alone, some 3,000 people gathered and virtually every participant brought baby supplies to benefit local crisis pregnancy centers.
There too, women who have had abortions and want others not to make the same mistakes showed up.
“We need more women like me to come forward because you can’t argue with this,” said participant Julie Magoon. “My abortion hurt me, and really hurt my family to some extent. And I think it’s hard to ignore that.”
Churches were highly involved in the pro-life event.
In Texarkana, Texas, Tim Gates, pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene, was one of many church leaders among the crowd of 200 to participate.
Perioa, Illinois was another of the more than 1,500 cities to hold a LifeChain. There, pro-life advocates held signs saying, "Abortion Kills Children" and "Life: The First Inalienable Right."
Pro-life groups in the Midwestern city have held the event for 15 years and the line of participants stretched for four miles.
Residents of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania have been holding Life Chains for more ten years and had more than 400 people at this year’s event.
"We’ve had more thumbs up than thumbs down and those little birdies that fly through," said Debbie Hainey of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, referring to obscene hand gestures. She held another of the LifeChain signs saying "Adoption: The Loving Option."
Rob Smith, the Life Chain coordinator in Hagerstown, Maryland said about 200 people joined his event.
"The majority of the reaction was very positive," Smith said of the motorists who passed along the route.
In Holland, Michigan, 125 people took part int he Life Chain there. Sally Mulder, 44, of Fillmore Township, was there with her sons Curtis, 17, and Elliot, 11.
"We feel it’s one thing we can do to stand out against abortion in our country," she said.
"I just pray God will show our country the right way, that more people are willing to follow God’s way, even though it means a personal sacrifice at times," said Mulder.